For Immediate Release
NC State AFL-CIO Statement on the Murder of George Floyd and the Struggle for Racial Justice
This is a sad and unsettling time. We’ve experienced months of pandemic-related job loss, sickness, and death, but it’s important to acknowledge that Black people are dealing not only with the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19, but also with centuries of racism in America—racism so deep and systemic that it pervades our criminal justice system, our schools, our politics, our economy. With the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black people at the hands of police or vigilantes, the pain and anger has reached a tipping point.
Enough is enough. Black lives matter.
We need police accountability—too many Black lives have been lost during police encounters. We need action by elected officials to address the growing economic inequality that has left so many Black families behind. And we need solidarity. All of us, especially White folks, need to condemn white supremacy and the divide and conquer tactics designed to keep all of us—Black, Brown, and White—from uniting and fighting together for our shared dignity, humanity, and ability to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
We at the NC State AFL-CIO commit ourselves to creating change so that Black people don’t live in fear for their lives. The labor movement brings people of different occupations, races, and beliefs together. We represent both police officers who risk their lives in the line of duty and Black people who fear for their lives during a police encounter. We represent both ICE agents and immigrant workers who worry about deportation. We represent workers who are the victims of gun violence, the workers who manufacture the guns, and the first responders who treat gunshot victims. Our unions can play a critical role in combating racism and violence by bringing people together in common purpose and creating opportunities for honest dialogue that fosters reflection, repentance, and reform.
The most important things we as labor leaders can do right now are listen to our Black sisters and brothers and work together to strengthen and position our unions to be powerful forces against racism and white supremacy. We must speak up and stand up, and most importantly, we must stand together. No more Black and Brown people should die senselessly. No more silence about racism and white supremacy inside and outside our movement. We are better than this.
Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, 336-255-2711 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is the largest association of unions of working people in North Carolina, representing over a hundred thousand members, working together for good jobs, safe workplaces, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and quality public services on behalf of ALL working people. PO Box 10805, Raleigh, NC 27605.